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Orders of Protection - American Pool Players Association - ACBL

Published with permission of my fiancee.

My fiancee has been a victim of domestic violence and harassment from her former husband.    He was recently convicted, and is serving two years probation(our jails are full).   As a part of the sentence, the judge also created an order of protection which among other things, keeps her former abuser at a distance of 1000 feet.     We were pleased with this result, thinking we would be free of him for at least two years.     What we did not realize is that private associations seem to be allowed to discriminate against victims of domestic violence.

Specifically,  She has been a member of the APA (American Poolplayers Association) for well over 20 years.    Her rank would put her similar to an ACBL diamond life master.   I am more like a Bronze on that scale.      Unfortunately, her Ex is equivalent to a Grand Life Master.     The American Poolplayers Association has taken the position that my fiance can no longer play pool, because doing so, might in some cases, put her withing proximity of one of their leading players, and cause him to have to leave an event.  Their concern is over the "disturbance" that the restraining order would cause.     They argue that they have the right to refuse anyone.    They chose the abuser rather than the victim.     We have filed a complaint with the ACLU, but have not yet received a response.    We have not yet filed a civil suit.

The parallel of the APA in pool and the ACBL in bridge looks similar.   The APA is the largest pool organization in the country. and is designed for non-professionals.   "Anyone can play, anyone can win" is their motto.    The ACBL is the largest bridge organization in the country.

For some reason, bridge organizations can't discriminate against cheats, but the APA can discriminate against victims.    I am sorry if I just don't get it.

I would like the ACBL to be prepared to deal with just such contingencies, and to have policies in place that protect victims, and ensure that restraining orders affect the person restrained, not the victim.    What would the ACBL do, if a famous player had a restraining order protecting a less famous player?   Would the ACBL refuse entry to the less famous player, or the perp?      What if the perp was a professional player, and refusing entry affected this players income?  Would the ACBL then have to discriminate against a victim that is not a professional?    What if both are professional?

Thanks for opinions and action on this matter.

John Adams

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